Merry Christmas! Whatever your day looks like, whether gathering with friends and family online, or just your immediate household, I pray it is a special day for you. While the Christmas menu has surely been planned by today, here is a fun warm treat to enjoy Christmas morning (or any time a hot cocoa craving strikes!). This chocolate orange hot cocoa is a simple twist on the classic stove top beverage.
How to make chocolate orange hot cocoa
The method to make this chocolate orange hot cocoa is very similar to any other stove top hot chocolate. Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and hot water in a sauce pan. Next, once the mixture is smooth and well-combined, slowly pour in the milk. While heating the milk add in the slices of the mandarin orange. Allow the flavor of the orange to permeate while the milk heats. Do not boil.
Top the chocolate orange hot cocoa with whipped cream and the orange zest if desired. Make sure an orange slice or two gets into each cup, the warm chocolate-y slice is a tasty drink garnish. Enjoy the drinkable version of the stocking favorite, chocolate orange, minus the pleasure of smacking the foil orb onto a table to break it apart.
Tips and tricks
What kind of cocoa powder should be used here? Dutch process? 100% cacao? Honestly, as long as it is unsweetened cocoa powder you are free to use whatever you like! Avoid a hot chocolate mix because those are already sweetened and will not make a pleasant beverage with the rest of the ingredients.
There is no vanilla included in this recipe, common to most hot chocolate recipes. Chocolate orange hot cocoa would likely be quite tasty with a bit of vanilla added, but for the orange flavor to be more pronounced and less muddled it is omitted from the recipe. Include it in the whipped cream to evoke a chocolate dreamsicle flavor.
Whole milk was used for this recipe, but if you are avoiding dairy almond, coconut, oat or whatever alternative milk you desire will work well.
It is very important to use hot water in this chocolate orange hot cocoa recipe because it helps create a syrup from the sugar and cocoa powder. There is more water in this recipe than the average cocoa so that the orange slices have a better chance of affecting the flavor. Working with citrus and dairy can be a fine line.
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
3 1/2 cups milk
1 mandarin orange, peeled and separated
zest of mandarin orange (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)
- Combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and hot water over medium heat.
- Add milk and orange slices.
- Stir constantly until hot, do not boil.
- Serve topped with whipped cream and orange zest (optional).
Chocolate Orange Hot Cocoa
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 mandarin orange peeled and divided
- zest of mandarin orange
- whipped cream